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Balgo artistsBalgo Women Artists: Nancy Naninurra

Born: c. 1933
Location: Yantji Yarungka south of Yagga Yagga
Language: Kukatja and Walpiri
Skin: Napanangka
Nancy Naninurra

Nancy is a Kukatja woman whose country lies to the south and east of Balgo, between Nyirripi, Kintore and Lappi Lappi. Nancy grew up on these lands and in her early twenties a white man brought her family to Mount Doreen Station near Yuendumu and they settled there for a while. Nancy worked sorting rocks at the mine that is now closed down. Nancy's father and younger sister went travelling from there and got into some intertribal conflict. Three people died shortly after, including her father, and it is said that he was 'sung'.

Nancy married a Walpiri man from the Tanami area and lived in Yuendumu, then at the Granites where he worked in the mine while Nancy brought up their first two children, a daughter and a son. The family gradually moved northwest from the Tanami to Gordon Downs where they had another son. Nancy has outlived her husband and is settled at Balgo with other Warlpiri people.

Together with her sisters, Nancy is an important law woman with responsibility to maintain the song cycles of her country. An influential person, she was involved in the production of traditional artifacts in the 1970s and early 1980s and became a key figure in the early Balgo women's painting movement.

Nancy's works have been exhibited widely in Australia and overseas.

Group exhibitions

2002 Land of Dreamings, Australia Centre, Berlin, Germany
2002 Balgo Hills: An artist's survey, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
2002 Big Colour My Country, Thornquest Gallery, Gold Coast
2001 Beyond Wings, Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide
2001 Balgo Works, Staedtische Gallery, Wolsfburg, Germany
2001 Recent Works by Artists from Balgo Hills, Ochre Gallery, Collingwood
2000 The Westside: Images in Ochre and Colour, Coo-ee II Exhibiting Gallery, Yuwayi Art Precinct, World Square, Sydney
2000 Dreaming in Colour: Australian Aboriginal Art from Balgo, Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, Virginia, USA
1999 Aboriginal Art, IHK, Würzburg, Germany
1999 Desert Mob '99, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs
1999 Miliynyin, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
1998 Dreamings, Vlaams-Europeesch Conferentiecentrum, Brussels, Belgium
1994 Wirrimanu: Aboriginal Art from Balgo, Framed, the Gallery, Darwin
1994 Aboriginal Desert Women's Law, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Ballarat
1994 Aboriginal Desert Women's Law, A.R.T. Collins Place Gallery, Melbourne
1993 Aboriginal Art Exhibition: Kung Gubunga, Oasis Gallery, Broadbeach
1989 A Myriad of Dreaming: Twentieth Century Aboriginal Art, Westpac Gallery, Melbourne; Design Warehouse Sydney (through Lauraine Diggins Fine Art)
1989 Warlayirti Artists: Continuing Links with Land, Coo-ee Aboriginal Art Gallery, Paddington
1986 Art from the Great Sandy Desert, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
1981 Balgo Art Exhibition, Shinju Matsuri Festival, Broome


The Holmes a Court Collection, Kluge Ruhe Collection, USA

Artist biography Warlayirti Artists 2002

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